Italian Studies 24, Section 1

Voyages to Italy: Reframing the Bel Paese in the Postwar Era (1 unit, P/NP) SEATS AVAILABLE

Professor Mia Fuller
Wednesday 10:00-11:00, 6331 Dwinelle Hall, Class number: 41056

Italy is known for its many contributions to cinema, perhaps especially for neorealism in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Not only was neorealism stylistically innovative—shunning studio artifice by using natural lighting and non-professional actors—but it also helped to forge a new image of Italy in the mid-1940s. Instead of the threatening Nazi ally it had been, Italy was now seen as a nation recovering from war amid cities in ruins, and lacking the most basic resources. But then, within a very short time films focused on marginalized or rural Italians and their struggles gave way to stunning comedies and thrilling dramas, celebrating or satirizing the 'economic miracle' of the 1950s and highlighting the culture shock many Italians experienced in their quickly changing society. In this seminar we will watch and discuss the films that shaped the world's most lasting impressions of Italy and its citizens, sampling some of the great works by Visconti, de Sica, Fellini, and Rossellini, among others.

Instructor Bio

Mia Fuller, Ph.D. Berkeley, is Associate Professor of Italian Studies. She is a cultural anthropologist who has combined fieldwork and archival research in her studies of architecture and city planning in the Italian colonies between 1869 and 1943. Her book on the subject, Moderns Abroad: Architecture, Cities, and Italian Imperialism, was published by Routledge in 2007. She is also the co-editor (with Ruth Ben-Ghiat) of Italian Colonialism: A Reader (Palgrave, 2005). Currently, she is preparing an ethnographic, architectural, and oral-historical study of the Fascist-era 'New Towns' built in 1930s Italy.

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